Chris Colfer Online

The King of Stories

TFK talks to Chris Colfer, author of The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey

Chris Colfer is a man of many talents. He sings, acts, and writes a wildly successful book series, The Land of Stories. Book 5 hits bookstores today. Though he vowed not to reveal any secrets, Colfer talked to TFK about The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey and his inspiration for its fantastic fairy-tale world.

TFK:

How do you keep getting new ideas for books in this series?

CHRIS COLFER:

I’m so lucky, because the ideas for the books have always really been with me. I came up with most of the ideas for the series when I was a kid. Whenever I get something new; the things I see on the street—anything from statues to buildings; anything that I read—all these inspire me. I get inspired a lot by history too.

TFK:

How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the process like?

COLFER:

I wrote most of the books while I was filming the TV show Glee, so I didn’t have much free time. I would try to write as much as possible with the very little time I had. If I added up all the spare hours—here and there and weekends and an hour or two after work at the end of the day—I probably wrote each book in about two to three months. I wish I had more of a process than I do. I like to outline everything chapter by chapter, and then I let the characters in my head do all the talking.

TFK:

Do you reread the fairy tales that the characters come from?

COLFER:

I do. I read a lot of fairy tales before I put them in the book. Usually I look for funny quirks that could make an interesting personality for the characters before I put them in the book. We look for things that can be funny, because we know that kids will like that kind of stuff.

TFK:

Do you decide what the cover will look like?

COLFER:

I do. With the start of each new book, I draw exactly what I want the cover to look like. I use little stick figures because I am not a very good illustrator. Once I’m done, I send it to the illustrator, Brandon Dorman, and he makes it into a beautiful, wonderful cover.

TFK:

In all the books, there’s a quest. What’s An Author’s Odyssey going to be like?

COLFER:

An Author’s Odyssey is an adventure that Connor and Alex take through Connor’s imagination. They get to go inside the stories that Connor has written, and he gets to meet all the characters he created and see all the worlds he made up. Actually, the stories that Connor’s going to travel into were some of the first stories I wrote when I was a really little kid.

TFK:

What does it feel like to have a lot of fans?

COLFER:

It’s the best! The best part of being an author is when kids come up to you and talk to you as if the characters are real.

TFK:

Do you have advice for kids who want to be authors?

COLFER:

If you want to be a children’s author, remember what kinds of stories you like to read and what kinds of stories entertain you. That will be the best way to write for kids later, when you’re an old man like me.

Source: timeforkids.com